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Griquas hammered but not discouraged

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The match ended with the Cheetahs sealing a convincing 40-7 win over Griquas after being 33-nil ahead at half-time.

File picture: Steve Haag, Gallo Images

The Tafel Lager Griquas showed plenty of fight despite losing heavily against the visiting Toyota Cheetahs in their pre-season warm-up at Tafel lager Park on Saturday.

The match ended with the visitors sealing a convincing 40-7 win after being 33-nil ahead at halftime. Yet in a losing cause there was plenty of courage and determination from the hosts against a powerful, well-balanced visiting side, loaded with some big names.

Speaking to the DFA after the match, Griqua coach Scott Mathie said that he knew all along that the game would be challenging. “Going into the game I expected it to be a messy affair and knew it would be a difficult learning curve given we last played a year and two months ago,” Mathie said.

“What is important is that we had a hit-out and the players got some much-needed game time under their belts. We needed to give the whole squad some time in the saddle,” he added.

The coach said that because of the amount of rolling subs warm-up games like these are a challenge to gain rhythm.

“Even more so when our set piece struggled to function. This led to a first half where we defended for far too long,” he said.

Mathie said that the loss must not be seen in merely negative terms, however.

“This was good defensive practice for us and will give us a lot of learning come the review on Monday. The set-piece struggles are very fixable, so we should see a big improvement in that regard.”

The coach added that with the team having had their first full game they were looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“I’m positive that we will only get better going into next week, and carry that momentum further into our first game against the Bulls at Loftus Versveld on October 10.”

Point Scorers

Cheetahs (40) Tries: Rosco Specman, Malcolm Jaer, Andisa Ntsila, Francios Steyn, Carel-Jan Coetzee, Louis van der Westhuizen. Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (5), Adrian Carelse

Griquas (7) Try: Daniel Kasende. Conversion: Ashlon Davids.